Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 3-Colorado

Today was our first full day of snowboarding and skiing. We are all tired and sore. My arms are especially tired. If you have ever snowboarded or seen pictures of it you'll know this shouldn't be happening. That tells you how good I am. The views from the ski lifts on up the mountain are incredible. My favorite view was my last run of the day when the sun was setting behind me and the golden sunlight lit up the snow covered peaks in front of me as far as I could see. Simply breathtaking.

So far the weather as been perfect, 30 degrees and sunny. Tomorrow, the forecast calls for a high of -1! Yikes. I have never experienced negative degree weather so we will have to see how it turns out. Hopefully we'll get at least a little bit of skiing in.

Charlotte had her first ever ski lesson today and did wonderfully and enjoyed it greatly. Emily took a full day lesson as well and continues to improve and hopefully is spending less time in the snow. Carter zooms off to do the black diamonds and do some gnarly (thats apparently what they say here) tricks. Dad rotates between helping us. Mom is our wonderful "ski mom". She drops us off in the morning (2 minutes from our condo) and picks us up for lunch and has lunch all set up for us when we get back to the condo. Then she takes us back up for the afternoon. Thank you so much mom!!

After dinner, we drove down to the town (5 min.) to see the International Snow Sculpture Contest. Our personal favorites were the underwater scene, the kangaroo sitting on a couch (Australia's) and Charlotte liked the "cat out of the bag." They were all lit up with colored lights so it looked pretty at night.  After looking at all the sculptures we walked up and down the main street which looked like a Christmas card scene, lots of snow all around and lights everywhere.  Some pretty neat little shops too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 1 and 2 of Colorado

Family Ski Trip to Breckenridge, Colorado -- January, 2011

I forgot our camera cord so I can't show post pictures; but I can paint a picture in words.

So far we are having a wonderful time. We flew with no delays on Friday and arrived in Denver at 5:30pm local time. Oddly enough, it was warmer here then when we left home! We rented a car and drove to a pizza place some friends of ours highly recommended in Idaho Springs, we greatly enjoyed our dinner especially since it was 10:30 pm our time and we hadn't eaten since lunch. From there we drove a little bit more into the mountains and stopped at our hotel for the night in Dillon.

We woke up the next morning bright and early because of our internal clocks and went down to breakfast and ate overlooking an incredible view. We were on the shores of Lake Dillon (which was frozen) and a high snow-covered mountain range behind it, there was a bright blue, clear sky. Simply breathtaking.

After breakfast we packed up the car and after a beautiful drive a bit further we soon arrived at Breckenridge, all the while ooing and awing over the snow. We found our cabin and then headed into town to get our ski equipment. Dad and Charlotte are skiing and Carter, Emily, and I are snow boarding. Charlotte and Emily have no experience and Carter has gone twice and myself once.

Emily headed to her first lesson and Carter and Dad took to the slopes. Charlotte and I played in the snow and walked through the drifts and made slides. Here is what Emily says about her first day of snowboarding:

"Well, I took a half-day lesson today, and by the end I managed to ride down a green slope, aka bunny slope (I think that's what it was) Now the term "riding down" by no mean implies that I gracefully glided down the hill, and smoothly swung to a stop. On the contrary, my runs mostly consisted of hopping up, riding 10 or 15 feet, until an object managed to be in my way (such as a pole or tree) when this occurred my preferred method of stopping was to fall over. Not the most practical, but it's pretty fast. Though I will warn you that it results in a sore tail bone when repeated several hundred times a day. So anyway there is my little snowboarding story, I would recommend snowboarding to anyone who enjoys getting snow in their face, and and cold wet hands : )"

So there is a recap of our first two days in Colorado. Sorry it didn't have any pictures.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow, Again!

To the very great excitement of myself and my family it snowed again! We received about 1.5 inches. It was so pretty watching the big fluffy snowflakes come down.

Instead of sleds we use boogy boards which seem to work just as well

Because of the lack of hills around here we go with what we have

Outside our front door

Emily with her (actually mom's) photogenic snowy scarf


Practicing snowboarding
What can be more lovely than a winter walk in a winter wonderland on an untouched snow-covered path?

Carter helping Emily along.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Processing


This past Fall our family and three other families decided to raise chickens for processing. We bought them as chicks and they stayed at our house for about six weeks, then they headed out to the country to the home of some friends of ours to live out the rest of their brief lives. Then the families got together and processed them.  Sadly, I was unable to participate since I was at the Love the Church conference. Consequently, all photo credit goes to Mrs. L.

Emily holding her favorite (now dead) chicken, Gerald.

Carter took the job of head throat cutter


Elijah had the coveted job of de-gutting--the only warm job on a very chilly and wet day!

Mrs. M and Mr. L timing the chicken-boiling (this step loosens the feathers)

How lovely Elijah. :)

One of the most fun things to watch (I heard) was the mechanical chicken plucker; unfortunately I don't have a picture of it. But I saw a video of it and it was pretty cool looking.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just after Christmas all of Dad's brothers and their families came down here to spend the week. All together there were 28 people, most of whom stayed at our house. It was crowded and loud yet wonderful.

Uses for older boy cousins: climbing tower


Nana brought Nutella for the the little boys, Matthew and Luke, to try. They enjoyed it a whole lot.

These are the B brothers and they love to play a very competitive game of Monopoly.

Uncle Adam seems to know he will get a good roll.

Uncle John observing the game after going bankrupt.

Not looking good for the hat.

A favorite game with the cousins is Dutch Blitz, we've been known to play for four hours.


A new game we really enjoy is Settlers of Catan, especially since I won two games. 

The boys entertain themselves by tying each other up to the mail box...

A very coveted position. :)

Uncle John and my dad reminisced about old times and taught the boys the real way to tie people up. :)

Mom taught me this trick, you can keep babies entertained for a very long time with clothespins and a metal bowl. Ella sure liked it!

Family picture time.

Thank you Christine for taking the picture!

Nana had us all over for lunch later on,

and she served us Aussie Burgers. Aussie Burgers have a hamburger, fried egg, slice of pineapple, and beets on them. Although I think it sounds bad, it is actually quite tasty.

The delicious dessert spread

Nana and Jocelyn


Aunt Laura and Ella

After lunch the boys started a version of Calvin Ball, in other words, throw the ball to each other and make up the rules of the game as you go along. They loved it and played for almost three hours.

It ended up being ultimate frisbie using a tennis ball and using any item you wanted to catch the ball

including lacrosse sticks
ziploc bags
 laundry baskets, bats, and cones. 

Dad about to score in the teeny tiny goals

They argued too

Miranda spectating

Everyone posing after the game with their various tools. I like Uncle John's (far left) expression the best, 

Inside Nana showed the girls the sampler she made when she was a little girl

On New Year's Eve we had a delicious lamb dinner. My amazing mom succeeded in have a sit down dinner for 28 people, at the same time, and everyone had china. Good job!

As is our tradition the four B. brothers read Banjo Paterson's poems, (one of our ancestors).
Uncle Adam chose to have Emma and Emily act it out for him, they're pretending to pump water here.

Uncle Peter reciting "A Bush Christening"
 it is required to wear the Drys-a-bone coat and an Australian Acubra hat while reciting the poem.

Uncle John

Dad reading the Geebung Polo Club, one of my favorites